First, I must state that it is not that "ejecting" the drive always prompt the "This drive is still utilized by etc." message.

It is that there is simply no option to "eject" it in the first place in my Windows 10 Pro x64 release (no preview).

This website shows what I mean (even if it was for the preview version of W10).

My USB-powered disks are configured with the "Quick removal policy", so in theory I could unplug the USB drive at any time, but...

I just wanted to know if this was the new normal behaviour in Windows 10 to not allow to eject if in quick removal mode, or if this is a bug with Windows!

  • This is a feature of windows I wish MS spent some time working on. Still in 2020 I am still plagued with this. I ask a drive to eject and nearly 100% of the time I get greeted with the message that the drive is in use. I like most users in this case have to just pull the drive out because rebooting is not always a quick and easy option.
    – drescherjm
    Nov 11, 2020 at 18:12

2 Answers 2


I was having the same problem right after installing Windows 10 but rebooting solved it. Now the option to eject is available on the taskbar.

  • 1
    You can put PC to sleep and wake it up, instead of rebooting! Sep 15, 2016 at 19:43

I believe the website which you are referring to already answers your question.

Basically its an user interface inconsistency. For external hard drives which register themselves as "fixed" drives (compared to "removable"), Windows does not show the "Eject" option in the context menu when you right-click on these drives (e.g. in File Explorer or Disk Management). It has nothing to do whether a drive is configured for quick removal.

As you noticed, you should be able to eject these drives by clicking on the “Safely Remove Hardware and Eject Media” icon in the system tray and selecting your USB drive to eject it.

However, I figured that "removability" might depend on the USB ports used. For example, I can eject "fixed" USB drives when they are connected to the integrated USB 2.0 ports but cannot eject them when they are connected to the USB3.0 ports on the installed ExpressCard.

  • 4
    on my windows 10 (upgraded from 7) there is no option to remove in either place. There is nothing which allows removal in the system tray, and nothing that allows removal under the drive itself.
    – daaxix
    Jun 22, 2016 at 10:11

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